10 years down the drain...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Surferbum21, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Posts: 392

    ...so I've built my business up from almost 10 years ago and it has almost been obliterated in one week. I got suckered into going on a family vacation with my recently engaged fiance's family who booked the trip during my busiest time w/o asking me. I tried not going but found it would be easier to bite the bullet rather than start any problems with the new in-laws. I leave half of my accounts (busted my butt before) to my friend who used to help me and who also started his own lawn business. I left him with no more than 5-8 to do a day which is not more than anyone can handle with my equipment in one day. Some weren't done and if they were done they were done 4-5 days late. I come home last night to a **** storm and find that I've lost 5 customers (one which is a $75/hour job/week) and others pissed. It was $1200 in revenues and he states he spent $450 (45 hours) in labor and $180 in gas and it gets better...was expecting about $1000 for his time. I am now fighting him over this while trying to do damage control. Needless to say I have never been more stressed out and pissed off. I am on thin ice with my fiance, about to beat this guys ass, and call it quits on my company. There is so much to say but I'll end it here and add on if anyone even replies to my rant.
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Dump her now. If you snowplow she'll divorce you before the first check comes in. My wife calls herself a landscape widow.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    I'm not really sure I understand your post. You are thinking of calling it quits on your business of 10 years, because you went on vacation and things are hectic when you get back? How long were you gone?
    And why didn't you just notify your customers you would be gone for a week or however long you were gone?
    If you are behind now on the cutting, then bite the bullet, and work a couple 12 hour shifts to get yourself caught up and back on schedule.
    As for the friend, you should have told him in advance how much you were planning on paying him.
    What am I missing here?
  4. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014

    Yeah. No offense man, but sounds like poor planning on your part. Also, it seems you could improve your communication skills (fiance, customers, friend)

    I know you're not feeling too well right now but the best thing to do is what Jodi suggested. Get out there and bust your 'hind for the next couple of days. Your customers will see that you are trying and I'm sure most will understand.

    For those that are too ticked off, offer them a free cut or something.

    Live and learn.
  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    I can understand your frustration. All I can say is, tomorrow is another day. Talk to the most upset customers first. Even call the ones that let you go and tell them you are sorry for the problems. You might be shocked. Some of them might be willing to listen and except your apologies even if they do not stick with you. Throw an offer of a few free weeks or even a month to them if the jobs meant a lot to you.

    Now, with the family situation, you are going to have to put your foot down.
  6. thomsoutdoor

    thomsoutdoor LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,443

    This time next week you will hopefully drinking a cold one saying I will never do that again.
  7. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    We finally agree on something...

  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    afraid I'm in the same boat....10 years and you have NOONE who you can count on.............

    sounds like your customers had noone that they could count on....
  9. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Why do you need someone to count on besides yourself?
  10. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,945

    Its very simple, people hire you to do weekely mowing. You felt it was more important to basically say **** them and go on vaction. I've been doing this 10 years next spring, and I don't remember the last time I got a vaction durning the summer months besides the weekends or holidays. You could have prevented this but you did not, so I'm sorry if I come off like an as*hole but I dont feel sorry for you one bit. You even say yourself " I tried not going but found it would be easier to bite the bullet rather than start any problems with the new in-laws". You let your customers down, can you blame them for getting pissed?

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